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Children's Court

Teenager pleads guilty to his role in violent mugging of English tourist in Dublin's Temple Bar

The court heard the defendant was the person who delivered the second blow and rummaged in the man’s pockets when he was ‘forced to the ground’.

A YOUTH HAS pleaded guilty to his role in a violent mugging of an English tourist who was set upon and beaten in Dublin’s Temple Bar in August.

Three men in their 20s were taken to St James’s Hospital after an incident at Fownes Street Upper at about 10pm on 11 August.

Two of them were members of an amateur soccer club who came to Dublin for a friendly match against a local side.

The boy, 17, who had developed a drug problem, was accused of violent disorder and robbing one of the men of his wallet and contents worth about €30.

He pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court today.

He cannot be named because he is a juvenile.

He has also admitted robbing a teenage boy on 17 August of his €150 earphones and runners worth €120 at Curved Street, also in Temple Bar, which occurred while he was on bail for the previous incident.

Judge Brendan Toale adjourned sentencing the teen, who remains in custody on remand, until next week.

He also referred his case to the Probation Service for a report on the boy.

Gardaí are to canvas the tourist if he wants to provide a victim impact statement.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended sending the teen’s case forward to the Circuit Court with broader sentencing powers.

However, defence counsel Doireann McDonagh successfully pleaded for the case to stay in the Children’s Court.

Garda David Dolan told Judge Toale the victim was with friends on Fownes Street Upper when “he received a punch from a male, which was followed up by a punch from a separate male to his face”.

The court heard the defendant was the person who delivered the second blow and rummaged in the man’s pockets when he was “forced to the ground”.

Garda Dolan said that another male kicked the victim’s head while he was on the ground and as the teen continued going through his pockets.

The boy removed his wallet containing his bank card and went to a shop but was unable to make a payment for a chocolate bar because he was asked for the PIN.

CCTV evidence was also shown.

The victim was taken to St. James’s Hospital but left before getting treatment.

Garda Dolan said he saw the man the next day, and his face was bruised and swollen, and that he later updated the officer to tell him he had suffered a broken nose.

However, gardaí had not been provided with a medical report.

Garda Dolan agreed with Ms McDonagh that her client was not the instigator or main aggressor and hit the victim once.

He agreed and said that the teenager was polite when questioned and identified himself in the video evidence.

But at that stage, gardaí had yet to gather all the video footage, and the teen initially claimed “he did not assault anybody”.

The court heard the youth had no prior criminal convictions but had been given the Probation Act and spared a criminal record for one previous incident.

Ms McDonagh confirmed he is now making full admissions to his involvement.

She said the teen had an ADHD diagnosis, and the incident had happened during a three-week period where he had developed a “severe dependency on pills”, but he has realised that is not for him.

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, remained silent and was described by counsel as “genuinely remorseful”.

His victim did not have to attend the hearing.

Two other youths are still before the courts on connected charges.